When creating or upgrading your LinkedIn Profile, one of the most important areas  you need to focus on, is the “Summary” section. It is one of the first things your LinkedIn Profile visitors will look at, together with your photo, headline and background image.

After analyzing hundreds of successful Profiles, we are pleased to  share the following 7 “Must-Haves” for your LinkedIn Summary section.

Bear in mind, that LinkedIn has a limit of the number of characters (2000) you may use in the Summary section. You therefore need to focus on making the best use of the characters you’ve got! This is where a keen sense of your goals, a focus on important and most effective keywords, precise and grammatically correct language and a very sharp pencil for editing will serve you well..

So let’s get down to business, here are the “Must-Have” sections for your Profile’s Summary section.

Best practices for your LinkedIn summary

1. WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)

Here, you have to reveal the benefits the visitor will get from your expertise or service if he/she reads any further. Use clear and to the point language  to make your LinkedIn Summary stand-out right from the beginning.

2. Universal Problem

What is the problem or situation that many people in your target audience are experiencing? What are the pain points of your potential prospects? Here you try to appeal to their emotional state  and articulate the issue they want to solve.

3. Why You? Unique Resource / Expert

Why are you uniquely qualified to solve this problem or situation? What are your credentials, the unique experience that make you the one or the company to help with the problem?

In the advertising and marketing world, this is called the USP – the Unique Selling Proposition. No need  to be subtle or modest here. SAY IT!  In as clear and focused language as you can.  Try to use words that are crisp, unusual – don’t just say “we’re the best” and have worked with……blah blah blah. Everyone says that – what sets you apart from the pack?

4. Show the Urgency & Opportunity

All right, all of this might be “nice to know”, but you want to convey the urgency of the situation.  What can you say that will cause your visitor or prospect to “act now”? Why must he/she not wait a moment longer – the competition is gaining on you, your skills are becoming obsolete, you’re missing out on a trend that is happening right now.  Whatever that situation is, say it!

5. The Solution you offer

Here is another chance to describe your service, why it’s a solution to the challenge/situation you mentioned earlier. This should be short, sweet and to the point (remember the Summary’s word limit).

6. Contact Info

Just the facts, here:  how you can be contacted by email, phone, website, other social media.

By providing these contact details in your LinkedIn Summary, you will make it easier for your target prospects to know how to contact you. This will ensure that the right leads come your way as rapidly as possible.

7. Specialties – for LinkedIn Search Engine Optimization Purposes

Here is where you can use your most important keywords (see our previous Article: How to create Influence on LinkedIn: Keywords and Beyond) – and you can use them over and over again. In an ordinary document, this string of words might look strange or redundant. But on LinkedIn, all these keywords are catnip for the search engines. Identify the one or two most important words that prospects might put into the “LinkedIn” search box when they’re looking for a certain resource or person, and use those words in different phrases.

In Dennis’ case, he wants to be known (and hired) for his expertise in doing LinkedIn Profile Makeovers;  Elaina wants customers to hire her company for a “Secrets of Influence” training program, hire her as a speaker for their next event or buy her books and other educational products.

This article has been co-authored with Elaina Zuker.

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